Con: Scientists Should Engage in Policy, Carefully
By: Matthew Innes (GIS)
A scientist should not be an advocate of policy but facilitate information that they have developed or studied to aid in policy making. As a citizen I can see how scientists do not consider economic, social, and ethical policy decisions when studying or solving a problem. Kathy Sykes a professor of sciences and society at University of Bristol quotes Martin Rees, “They should accept that on the economic, social and ethical aspects of any policy they speak as citizens and not as experts.” I completely agree with this idea that Rees has because for example when a cure for an illness is found then the economic aspects are given to larger corporations to figure out, but the actual scientists do not deal with the economic and social aspects of it.
Sykes believes that scientists can become involved when the government policy makers deny the facts, such as the Bush administration and they denied global warming and climate change, so scientists had to get involved and advocate policy in order to help the larger population. She agrees with Rees that scientists have a responsibility to engage on policy issues, but there are limits. Also there are four types of classifications for scientists, “pure scientist, science arbiters, issue advocate, or honest brokers.” The pure scientist is where I see the majority of scientists where they study and develop a new theory and present it with a paper that sits for others to use whenever needed.